Health workers can take you home if you have a severe complication or a severe illness and can afford it, the government said on Wednesday.
The baby and infant deaths rate in England has risen since the introduction of the National Health Service (NHS) in 1963, to 2.3 deaths per 1,000 live births.
But the figures are at their lowest level since 2010, when the rate was 1.9 per 1.000 live birth.
And the new figures show that when you have one baby, it takes more than six months for the NHS to return you home, which is twice the rate of the period before.
The latest figures show the NHS has taken just over two months for just two babies to be returned home after being admitted, compared to just over three months for a baby before admission.
It is a stark contrast to the NHS’s overall response to babies admitted after five weeks, when it took just over six months.
It comes as NHS England plans to reduce the number of babies admitted from its existing care centres by half in the next five years, from 18,000 to 14,000, with the aim of reaching a target of 80,000 babies admitted by the end of 2021.
But it is expected that the new NHS figures will only bring that target down to just under 10,000.
The figures are also a worrying sign that the NHS will be unable to get more babies admitted to hospitals on its own in the short term.
Last month, the Department of Health announced it was reducing the number and age of children admitted to care by 40% to the same age group as adults.
It also announced it would not consider reducing the numbers of children being admitted to the Care Homes (for children aged between 5 and 14) and the Children’s Homes (aged between 5-17) as long as they did not need hospital care.
The latest data comes as the Government is due to announce its own plan to increase the number in care homes from its current 3,500 to 10,500 in the future.
A spokesman for the Department said the plan would see the number increase from its present level of 2,000 in 2020 to 3,000 by 2021.
However, it is not clear whether the new numbers will be sufficient to meet the Government’s plan.
Dr Peter Walker, head of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), said the latest figures showed there were still too many babies in care who needed urgent medical care.
“We need to take a very, very cautious view of the latest data because it’s not clear how many more babies are coming in who are still in need of hospital care,” he said.
“It may be too many to be safe.”
The Royal College said it was working with the NHS on the issue of the rise in babies in the care system.
“Our concern is that it’s going to be difficult to have a more stable situation for the next few years and to maintain that in the longer term,” Dr Walker said.
He said it could be months before the Government can even begin to address the problem of the growing number of newborns needing care.
“The longer we wait, the more of these babies that will have to be cared for by the NHS.”
This is a developing story.
More to come.